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MODULE 22: Contingency Planning and Emergency Response to Healthcare Waste Spills

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Title: MODULE 22: Contingency Planning and Emergency Response to Healthcare Waste Spills


1
MODULE 22Contingency Planning and Emergency
Response to Healthcare Waste Spills
2
Module Overview
  • Present examples of contingencies related to HCWM
  • Describe steps in developing a contingency plan
  • Describe procedures for dealing with spills
  • Describe procedures for dealing with injuries and
    exposures
  • Discuss contingency measures in the event of an
    epidemic, major emergency or disaster in the
    community

3
Learning Objectives
  • Discuss how to develop plans for contingencies
    related to HCWM
  • Define and create procedures for dealing with
    infectious waste or chemical waste spills,
    including the use of PPE
  • Describe post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
    procedures for waste-related injuries and
    procedures related to needle-stick injuries, in
    particular
  • Reproduce a response to a simulated emergency
    spill or waste-related exposure

4
Examples of Contingencies Related to Healthcare
Waste
  • Contingencies related to waste handling
  • Lack of color-coded bags, bins or sharps
    containers
  • Lack of PPE (gloves, face masks, etc.)
  • Contingencies related to waste storage
  • Overfilled storage lack of capacity
  • Flooding or fire in the waste storage area
  • Contingencies related to waste treatment/disposal
  • Breakdown of waste treatment autoclave or
    incinerator
  • Downtime due to maintenance or repair of
    treatment technology or lack of spare parts
  • Temporary closure of the landfill

5
Examples of Contingencies Related to Healthcare
Waste
  • Contingencies related to spills
  • Spills of blood, breakage or leaks of infectious
    waste bags or containers, breakage of
    mercury-containing devices, spills of chemicals
    (e.g., laboratory solvent, cytotoxic agent or
    pharmaceuticals)
  • Contingencies related to labor
  • Lack of human resources, impact of strikes or
    illness among waste workers or waste collectors,
    illness of waste supervisor
  • Exposure incidents
  • Needle-stick injuries, exposure to blood
    splashes, exposure to pathogenic aerosols from
    infectious waste, acid burns

6
Contingency Planning
  • A systematic approach to identify what could go
    wrong and make preparations in response to those
    events
  • Contingencies should be prioritized since it is
    not possible to plan for all possible
    contingencies
  • Contingency planning is also an opportunity to
    identify activities or resources that minimize
    the risks or avoid contingencies

7
Steps in Contingency Planning
  • Identify events or scenarios that could disrupt
    the normal function of healthcare waste
    management in the facility
  • Assess the likelihood of those events or
    scenarios and the risks they pose
  • Prioritize the contingencies based on their
    probabilities and risk impact
  • Prepare contingency plans

8
Steps in Contingency Planning
  • When developing contingency plans
  • Identify the trigger that would start
    implementation of the plan
  • Obtain input from staff and other stakeholders
  • Break down the plan according to time frame
    (e.g., actions to take during the first hour,
    actions for the first day, first week, etc.)
  • Write down the plan in clear terms
  • Communicate the plan and provide training
  • Review the plan on a regular basis

9
Examples of Possible Responses to Some
Contingencies
  • Lack of color-coded bags, bins or sharps
    containers
  • Use markings or labels as a temporary substitute
    for color-coding use make-shift containers that
    provide a similar level of safety (e.g., labeled
    bleach bottles as sharps containers)
  • Overfilled storage area
  • Designate an unused space for backup storage
    modify the space to prevent public access
  • Breakdown of the on-site waste treatment system
  • Make prior arrangements with another hospital or
    waste treatment plant to treat the facilitys
    waste in the event of a breakdown
  • Temporary closure of the landfill
  • Make prior arrangements with another landfill as
    a backup to accept the facilitys waste

10
Examples of Possible Responses to Some
Contingencies
  • Contingencies related to spills
  • Prepare spill clean-up procedures, conduct
    training including practice clean-up of simulated
    spills
  • Illness among waste workers
  • Train other employees or part-time workers in
    healthcare waste handling and collection as
    backup
  • Exposure incidents
  • Develop clear procedures for exposure incidents

11
Response to Spills
  • Small spills
  • Can be handled by a small group of trained
    employees and when spills are not immediately
    hazardous
  • Large spills
  • Remove personnel from immediate danger and bring
    in properly trained first responders to clean
    spill up

12
Infectious Waste Spills
  • To reduce the number of employees at risk of
    exposure
  • Restrict access to the spill area
  • Provide warnings of hazards and advice
  • about special requirements
  • Ensure staff is trained to respond to these
    spills
  • You may clean up small spills if you
  • Have the supplies to absorb and bag the spilled
    material
  • Are familiar with the properties of the spilled
    material
  • Have the proper personal protective equipment
  • Are trained to respond to a biohazard spill

13
What To Do When There Is An Infectious Waste
Spill
  • Workers should wear
  • eye protectors or face shields
  • gloves
  • coveralls
  • respirators or face masks depending on the risks
    of exposure
  • Residues should be recovered using hand tools and
    then packed safely
  • The floor should be cleaned and disinfected after
    most of the waste has been recovered

14
What To Do When There Is An Infectious Waste
Spill
  • Cover spilled area with absorbent pad or paper
    towels
  • Decontamination - use bleach, diluted to 110
    with water
  • to decontaminate the spill area
  • to clean/decontaminate equipment used in spill
    response
  • pour diluted bleach over towels, let stand for 30
    minutes

15
Spill Clean-Up Kit
  • CONTENTS
  • Disposable gloves, face mask and safety glasses
  • Small scoop or dust pan and brush, shovel
  • Absorbent pads or powders for liquid spills
  • Cleaning rags or paper towel
  • Chlorine disinfectant (110 chlorine)
  • Germicidal wipes
  • Extra color-coded infectious waste bags
  • First-Aid kit
  • Biohazard labels
  • Aspirator bottle, spatula or mercury amalgam
    powder for mercury spills

16
Mercury Spills
  • Can you tell me what steps are taken if you have
    a broken thermometer in your facility?
  • Who do you call
  • Who cleans or responds first
  • Do you receive any training
  • Is there a spill response kit
  • What does the kit contain
  • Do you have a protocol for safe disposal
  • Any medical monitoring
  • Any incidents in the past?

17
Examples of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Helmets
  • Face masks
  • Eye protectors (safety goggles)
  • Overalls (coveralls)
  • Industrial aprons
  • Leg protectors and/or industrial boots
  • Disposable gloves (medical staff) or heavy-duty
    gloves (waste workers)

18
Simulation
  • Conduct a clean-up of a simulated infectious
    waste spill or chemical waste spill

19
Response to Injury and Exposure
  • All staff should be knowledgeable about
    procedures, first line of response and WHOM TO
    CALL

20
What to do in Emergency Injury or Exposure
  • Self-protection with appropriate PPE
  • Immediately assist victim with first-aid
    measures
  • Bleed the wound (needle-stick injury)
  • Wash area under clean running water
  • Clean wounds and skin
  • Splash eyes with clean water (e.g., for eye
    exposure to biohazard)
  • Splash the body (e.g., for chemical exposure)
  • Seek prompt medical attention

21
What to do in Emergency Injury or Exposure
  • Report the incident to a designated person
  • Retain the item involved in the incident
  • Identify source of possible infection
  • Seek additional medical attention in emergency
  • Maintain medical surveillance
  • Record and investigate incident
  • Identify causes and implement action to prevent
    similar incidents in the future

22
Incident Reporting
  • All incidents including near misses (or no
    injuries), must be reported to the OHS committee
    or a specific representative
  • A report should be filed and kept on record
  • review to make work place or practice changes

23
Incident Report
  • Name(s)
  • Date
  • Time
  • Where
  • Type of injury
  • How
  • Any witnesses
  • Hospital visit
  • Contributing factors
  • Contact info
  • Recommendations

24
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
  • Ensure all staff have access to post-exposure
    information, education, and communication
  • Required by WHO
  • Initiate PEP as soon as possible within first few
    hours of exposure and no later than 72 hours
    after exposure

25
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis protocol must include
  • Who to contact
  • Check patient status (HIV positive or not)
  • Check immediate health status of worker
  • Pregnant, hypertensive
  • Provide necessary medications as soon as possible
  • Provide support counseling to those exposed
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Analyze reported cases of exposure to improve
    practices

26
Medical Surveillance
  • Mercury
  • Needle stick injuries (NSI)
  • Blood-borne pathogens
  • TB surveillance
  • MDR TB
  • Noise and radiation
  • May be an issue with loud equipment
  • Chemical
  • Formaldehyde, benzene
  • Very rare in hospitals

27
Questions You Should be Able to Answer
  • What are the guidelines or protocols to respond
    to a waste spill?
  • How should you respond to a patient who has a
    needle-stick injury?
  • What should you do if you have a needle-stick
    injury?

28
Training
  • Outline all emergency, spill and injury response
    procedures
  • PPE use
  • Annual refreshers

29
Fire Safety
  • What is the protocol for fire in your facility?
  • Is there a plan related to hazardous equipment,
    chemicals and wastes?
  • Is there regular training related to fire safety?

30
Contingency Planning for Epidemics, Disasters and
Other Major Emergencies in the Community
31
Contingency Measures for Major Emergencies in the
Community
  • Preparation for emergencies should be made at
    health care facility and regional/central
    government levels.
  • Healthcare facility level
  • action plans on healthcare waste management
    should include emergency measures to apply during
    emergency situations (e.g., epidemics in the
    community could lead to significant increases in
    the amounts of healthcare waste generated)
  • Regional/national level or disaster prone area
  • prepared by a responsible cluster (inter-agency
    cluster composed of national or international
    agencies/organizations).

32
Questions to Ask?
  • What standards will be used to guide the
    response?
  • What are the current capacities of the
    agencies/organizations to respond?
  • What initial assessment arrangements are needed?
  • What actions will be taken as an immediate
    response to the situation? Who does what and
    when? And who is coordinating and leading?
  • What resources would be needed?
  • How will information flow between the various
    levels (local and national and vice versa)?
  • Have specific preparedness actions been agreed
    on?
  • What follow-up actions are required?

33
Planning as an Ongoing Process
  • Regularly reviewed and updated to ensure
  • all partners are familiarized with their various
    roles and responsibilities and preparedness
    actions are undertaken.
  • plans should be in line with existing national
    policies, strategies and legislations on
    healthcare waste management
  • Updated when there is a change in process,
    equipment, construction, etc.

34
Contingency Measures for Major Emergencies in the
Community
  • Rapid Initial Assessment
  • Inform personnel in charge or emergency
    responders about critical and immediate needs
  • Secure the area
  • Collect data
  • Area affected, number of people affected, any
    injuries that need immediate attention, types of
    hazards and their locations
  • Should be improved as more time and data become
    available

35
Contingency Measures for Emergencies in the
Community
  • Emergency Response
  • Based on rapid assessment, emergency response
    should be pre-planned with clear roles and
    responsibilities
  • Plans for the management of larger than usual
    quantities of healthcare waste should be
    implemented
  • Recovery
  • Return to normal situation prior to the emergency
  • Lessons learned

36
Treatment and Disposal Options During Major
Emergencies
  • If resources are available, infectious and sharp
    wastes could be disinfected in a small autoclave.
    Non-sharp disinfected wastes then join the
    general waste stream.
  • On-site burial in pits or trenches, or disposal
    in special controlled cells in municipal dumping
    sites are other options.
  • Sharps wastes or small quantities of
    pharmaceuticals can be encapsulated followed by
    on-site burial or burial in special cells in
    municipal dumping sites.
  • Incineration in high-temperature industrial
    incinerators or cement kilns with air pollution
    control is an option if there is a safe means of
    transportation.
  • Incineration in a double-chamber incinerator or,
    if necessary, burning in a pit could be used
    during emergencies.

37
Treatment and Disposal Options During Major
Emergencies
  • Mercury thermometers ? collect for mercury
    recovery
  • Pressurized containers ? safe burial in pits
  • PVC plastics such as IV sets, catheters and PVC
    containers for sharps ? safe burial in pits
  • Vials of vaccines ? safe burial in pits
  • Anatomical wastes/body parts ? safe burial in pits

38
Discussion
  • What are some healthcare waste-related
    contingencies that might occur in your facility?
  • Discuss your facilitys spill response plans for
    chemicals and infectious agents.
  • Are spill clean-up kits available in your
    facility? For what specific chemicals?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your
    facilitys emergency injury or exposure
    procedures?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your
    facilitys incident reporting system?
  • Discuss your facilitys plans for major
    emergencies in the community?
  • Have you received any training in emergency
    response? What training is needed?
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